Powerlifter Kjell Bakkelund added another piece of hardware to his name this week as he won gold at the IPF’s European Open, Sub-Junior & Junior Equipped Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic on Thursday.
Bakkelund dominated with a total of 900 kg/1984 pounds in the -74 kg weight class to win the Open. The 31-year-old Norwegian has been competing for 12 years and this was his fourth appearance at the European Championship.
He squatted 337.5 kg, bench pressed 237.5 kg, and deadlifted 325 kg. While he didn’t break any of his previous equipped records at the European Championships, he made a strong showing and still took home gold.
Bakkelund holds the International Powerlifting Federation equipped deadlift record in the -74 kg weight class with 328.5 kg. He claimed this record in June, 2018 in Halmstad, Sweden. This week, he was only 3.5 kg shy of this record.
It’s also worth noting that he also holds the IPF record in deadlift in the raw category for two different weight classes, -83kg and -74 kg. In his current weight class he holds the raw record at 322.0 kg, and in the -83kg class he lifted 325.5. Both of these records were made in 2017.
This isn’t the first time we’ve been pumped up over Bakkelund’s big lifts. Last year, he smashed his deadlift world record in training with 330kg, or 727.5 pounds. He also pulled this off raw, people.
Over the past year, Bakkelund has focused in on equipped powerlifting, which is why we didn’t see him at the World Classic. For those unfamiliar with the difference, equipped powerlifting involves special suits and shirts that are made to help the lifter snap into position when stretched in certain areas, helping to increase the maximum lifts of an athlete.
Super heavyweight Blaine Sumner spoke with BarBend last year and gave his take on the main differences between raw and equipped powerlifting noting that many casual onlookers consider the two forms of powerlifting as the same.
“When you add the gear, it’s a completely new element, the training gets more complicated, your technique gets more complicated. With raw powerlifting there’s only so much you can tell your body to do under load, with equipment you can try different techniques, the training sessions are a lot longer. Joint-wise my body feels a lot better, my hips feel better, knees much better, shoulders are better.”
While Sumner and Bakkelund are very different powerlifters, both have set IPF world records in the classic and equipped categories. Bakkelund is on the hunt for a new IPF record, but for now, his new gold medal looks pretty good.
Featured image via @kjelllbrell Instagram.